An ad that PETA says was banned by the Super Bowl from airing during one of its matches experienced an adverse reaction on Twitter for apparently exhibiting NFL players (as animals) who took a knee to object police brutality.
Animals taking a Knee!
A bear, bee, and even a fish took a knee in the cartoon advertisement as “The Star-Spangled Banner” is crooned in the background. The ad was “inspired” by Colin Kaepernick, a former 49er quarterback, who took a knee when the national anthem was played at NFL games, to protest for black people who were victims of police violence, PETA said in a statement.
The ad was designed to endorse PETA’s campaign to “end speciesism,” which the organization refers to as “supremacist worldview” that permits ‘homo-sapiens’ to maltreat other species. The group which fights for animal rights says that the NFL, which barricaded its players from kneeling in protest while the anthem is playing, pressed Fox to ban the advertisement from playing during the Super Bowl. The Verge requested Kaepernick, Fox and the NFL for a comment on the situation; however, they did not immediately respond to request.
Anyway, PETA decided to post and share its video on social media. After that PETA was called out on Twitter by people who expressed that the ad was offensive and homogenized the Black Lives Matter movement to end police brutality.
One person tweeted, “Omfg this is tone-deaf AF” in response to PETA’s post. That reaction accumulated about 8,000 likes. Astead Herndon, New York Times reporter made fun of the ad, comparing it to an “all species matter” campaign.
PETA shared the ad to Colin
The Verge interviewed Mary Annaïse Heglar who is a climate writer, in the interview, she said, “It would never be okay to co-opt this imagery comparing black people to bears and horses.” Adding to it she said, “They’re the walking stereotypes of what people of color think about environmentalists … that they care more about animals than black people or people of color.”
TechCrunch reported that PETA wrote in an email, “We’re big fans of Colin [Kaepernick] (who is vegan), and support not only his message but his impactful form of peaceful protest against oppression.” The animal welfare organization is claiming that it shared the ad with Kaepernick before releasing the video.
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter scrutinized another ad by the NFL boosting its “Inspire Change” campaign that offers and awards grants to players for their nonprofit initiatives. That ad exhibited the killing of former NFL player Anquan Boldin’s cousin, Corey Jones, by police and talks about criminal justice reform. Cullors tweeted that she agreed with filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who said the ad would “sanitize and co-opt a black protest movement.”
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